Monday, January 17, 2011

$250 Kitchen Makeover with $20 Granite Countertops...Faux Real!

I'm finally showing you guys...  Here is my mom's $250.00 kitchen makeover!  It was actually more like $200 but I'm sure there are some expenses in there we forgot so we'll say $250.  Once again I couldn't find a good before picture so you'll just get to see my cute nephews again for the before shot.  They are obviously dying Easter eggs in the picture...so forgive the mess and the semi crossed eyes. 

The before.  Notice the yellow oak cabinets, brass drawer pulls and stark white counters.
The after...
Ta da!  Love it!  It was hard to get a good straight on picture at this time of the day with all of those windows. I  can't believe what a difference $250 and some elbow grease can make.  

Here's a few more angles...
  And some more (this picture was taken on a different day and won't enlarge for some reason)...
 and another...

Nice huh?  Wanna know how she did it?
First up were the cabinets.  She hated the yellow oak that she had and wanted something dark which her kitchen certainly can handle with how much natural light there is.  All of the main living area is entirely surrounded by stacks of windows.  I love it!

She used a blackish/redish/brown mixture of oil based, gel stain on the cabinets.  Sorry, I don't know what color specifically because she mixed them herself and doesn't have the original containers but any oil based gel stain should do.  I think she got it perfect.  She didn't want them to look painted she wanted to still be able to see the wood grain running through.  Which she definitely achieved.  Next she changed out all the hardware which that alone can cost more than $250.00 for a kitchen this size, but she hit the jack pot.  The chunky drawer pulls were found at Lowe's for 50 cents each.  They were originally an ugly brass color and she just spray painted over them with a hammered nickel color by Rustoleum and the round knobs were found on KSL classifieds for cheap.  Another good place to look for inexpensive drawer pulls is ebay.

I'm sure you figured out that the countertops are faux granite.  I didn't even know such a thing existed until my mom told me she was going to paint her countertops and I thought she was crazy!  They look really good and they are a whole lot cheaper than the real thing.   She said she had nothing to lose by painting the counter tops because that's how much she didn't like them before.  You would be shocked by how easy and quick they were to do.
Here's a before of the countertop.  Just plain white...
and the after...
$20.00 Granite....Faux Real people ( haha, I am so clever...just kidding ;0)

I helped for about 5 minutes on this project so I'll give you my observations of how to do it if you'd like.
What you need...
water based, tintable primer
acrylic paint in a variety of shades (I think she actually used 6 different colors)
polyacrilic 
a sea sponge
a cheap paintbrush (you know the kind that has like 10 bristles and comes in kids paint by number books)
Painters tape
Paint roller (the ones you find at the dollar store work great, the kind without all the fur)

 Lightly sand the counter top.  Wash and dry.  Tape off the countertop.  Roll on your tintable primer.  This is your base coat.  Let it dry.
 Get your sea sponge wet and start dabbing into your first acrylic paint and start going at it....
There is no rhyme or reason...really.  Just dab the sea sponge all over.  I was nervous to mess up her counter and to prove that I couldn't mess it up my mom continued to paint when the power went out!  Luckily, it was only out for a couple minutes.  Every now and again she'd grab the cheap paint brush (the bristles were all bent and it was dry) and she'd dab some paint on with that, just to give it some straight edge looking blobs.  

She didn't really let the paint dry much between coats.  She would work from one end to the other and once she worked her way to one side, she would start on with another color immediately and repeated that with all the colors.  After she did a layer of each color she would go back and add more of whatever color she wanted to emphasize.  She then let it all dry and the last step was to apply lots and lots of Polyacrylic to protect it. You don't want to use Polyurethane because it will turn yellow.  I think she applied like 10 coats of polyacrylic.  I know that sounds like it would take forever, but it goes on very fast and drys really fast I don't think she spent more than a few hours combined on all the coutertops (not including drying time of course).  Those cabinets however are another story.  I went to visit for the weekend so we could paint her cabinets and get it all done in a weekend...that was a joke!  Do you see how many cabinets there are?  That was definitely not a weekend project unless you have a small army to help you.

You do need to let the paint cure.  She didn't use the counters for a while.  It has now been about 2 months and they have held up perfect!  No chips or scratching.  Not a bad transformation for the money?  Next up she wants to find a new chair for the desk to redo.  She's been on the hunt but hasn't found the perfect one yet.  She also found a nice huge faucet she still needs to install and eventually she'd like a stainless steel fridge, anyone want to donate?  Just kidding.  I'll be linking to some of these places.  Come back tomorrow and I'll show you a hutch she transformed as well!

46 comments:

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

wow, that looks so great!!! Love the "faux" counters; I totally thought they were real granite!

Katie said...

I cannot believe that countertop is painted! I would have thought she bought faux granite countertops! I love everything about this kitchen! Excellent makeover and so cheap!!

Ashley said...

I absolutely love the countertops. My husband and I have been wanting to redo ours for a while now, and have been looking for inexpensive options. Thank you SO much for this post. Thank you thank you thank you! Now, I do have 2 questions. Were the countertops before laminate? And, how long did she let the polyacrylic cure before using the counters again?

LP said...

I don't even know where to begin--that is nothing short of amazing! Wow! I *love* the countertops, and the color for the cabinets is just perfect...wow wow wow!

Kelli said...

Thanks everyone!

Ashley,
I am so glad this helped you! She does have laminate counters and I asked her how long she let them cure and she said she just let the polyacrylic dry and then she put a piece of plastic on top to protect it for a few days but other than that she still used them, but was very cautious. She would put hand towels beneath pots and pans and she always uses a cutting board. One thing I forgot to mention is you shouldn't put anything hot on them or you will end up with marks.

Another thing that will help you is looking up videos on youtube by searching "faux granite". I know she found helpful information there.

I hope that helps you. Let me know if you have any other questions.
-Kelli

Ashley said...

Thank you so much! I'm so excited to do ours now!!! Tell your mom AWESOME job!

cjaxon said...

Looks AMAZING! Is she loving the Gemini oven? We adore ours! (we are on our second since my husband tried to cook while I was out of town ... thank goodness for home owners' insurance!)

Kelli said...

Wow, this is amazing and I can't believe that you did it for $250.00! That is great!!

xoxo
Kelli @ loveoursimplelife.blogspot.com

Amanda said...

Hooray you were featured today! I'd love if you stopped by and grabbed a button!

Amanda
www.todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com

Marty said...

Amazing! I love the cabinets and counter tops! I've contemplated painting cabinets many times but have always been to afraid to do it!!

Simply Domestic said...

Wow! This looks amazing! I'm in awe!

Erin said...

That is AMAZING!!!

It looks like a custom kitchen redo!! And I cannot believe how believable those countertops are...and just done with acrylic paints!!!

You ladies should just be beside yourself thrilled with this! :)

lotts to do said...

This is the coolest idea I've seen in a while. I am so going to steal this as soon as I get the money to do it. I hope you don't mind, but I linked up to this on my blog. If you do mind, just let me know & I will remove it.

Tammy @ The Sweet Spot said...

This is just so beautiful! Looks like a kitchen right out of a magazine. We are currently in the process of buying a house and this is going to help me so much...The Kitchen is always the room that I look at first and it can be so expensive to get the look you want. Thank you so much for the great inspiration....I found you at Not Just A Housewife and MUST follow you now.

Bella said...

That is one heck of a transformation, I so wish, I could have redone my kitchen with that money.

AMAZING!!!

Especially those counters, I LOVE IT...

Would you come link this incredible makeover to my weekly party **Amaze me August** I would be so happy if you included me in your weekly list.

I am also hosting a giveaway to CSN stores, with the party this week.

I am your newest follower, what a GREAT blog!!!

BElla :)

Custom Comforts said...

Those cabinets and counter tops look great!!! I may have to try that on my counter tops. It looks so easy, just hard to use your kitchen while things are drying.
I'm your newest follower.
Cindy

Custom Comforts said...

Forgot to tell you I LOVE your banner. So sweet and simple. Makes you smile :)
Cindy

Mom to Many said...

She did an amazing job! Woot woot!
Can't wait to check out the rest of your blog!
Cheryl

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

Hey Kelli that is fantastic. Amazing what a little vision, and creativity can do. Simply awesome!
I am following you now too!

Heidi said...

Oh my goodness! Nobody would even know that those were not real granite! I love the cabinets and the knobs. It all looks so great!

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

I have always considered painting my countertops. They turned out great!

Life In The Thrifty Lane said...

What an amazing transformation! Great job!!

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

Wow, the countertop looks great and I absolutely love how the cabinets turned out! I'm considering staining mine darker too. Did you seal the cabinets with anything (sorry if you already answered that question in your post- I'll go back and check!)

Jen-CraftOManiac said...

YOUR COUNTERS look amazing, I cannot believe you did that yourself. WOW IMPRESSED. Love the entire kitchen makeover. Your kitchen is beautiful, I would kill to have those gorg. rounded large windows all three next to one another. ENJOY! jen

Ann @ I blog, therefore I am. said...

Wow, those countertops look beautiful!

Lisa S. said...

I love the dark cabinets! Did you sand the cabinets before using the gel stain? Also did you put a sealer on them after? So impressed, loved the whole transformation!

The SPANGLER said...

WOW! Like everyone else says... Those counter tops are AMAZING! I've relaminated old benchtops before and heard of laminex paint but never the 'faux granite' look your mum has achieved... this just may be an achieveable, within budget redo for our tired, horrible old benchtops in our new (but very old) home!
Cheers
The Spangler @
The Quick Unpick

shauna said...

This transformation is phenomenal! That does NOT look like faux granite at all! It SO looks like the real thing! I was wondering if your mom used spray or brush on polycrylic?

Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust said...

I'm so impressed by these counter tops. Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Warmly, Michelle

Kelli said...

Wow, thanks everyone for all your nice comments! I will put together a post tomorrow or Tuesday, answering all of the questions I've received.

See you then!
-Kelli

Chris said...

I would love to hear more about the cabinet refinishing process. I've been wanting to do something very similar in my kitchen. Love the idea of gel stain rather than paint. Did she sand or strip the cabinets at all? And, what about finishing... any poly or other top coat? The transformation is really stunning!

Allyson Pecilunas said...

This looks FAB!! Awesome job. I found you from I heart naptime. I am now your newest follower. Come check me out if you get a chance.

http://noplacelikehomecraftsdecorbyallyson.blogspot.com/

~Allyson~

I Play Outside The Box said...

Wow....everything turned out beautiful!!! Those countertops ROCK!!!!!!

Breanne & Shannon said...

this is fantastic!!!!! great work :)

.:+Pearlofafrika+:. said...

love it!

Kristina @ A Home Made by Kiki said...

That is quite the transformation! We painted the countertops in our half bath and couldn't believe how easy it was and the difference that it made in that space! I don't think that we used enough coats to seal it though because it is starting to bubble up in spots that get wet frequently like under the bottle of hand soap.

Heather said...

That is amazing, never would have guessed that was paint!

Pawloski said...

Looks amazing! If your mom doesnt want to spend lots on a new fridge she can just use faux stainless or repaint it with stainless steel appliance spray paint. I saw this on hgtv and they both took amazing!
http://www.fauxstainless.com/Before-&-After.html

http://liquidstainlesssteel.com/

Joseph's Grainery Recipes said...

Thanks for the inspiration. This is my weekend project. Still in the process of "splotching" all the colors on. Can't wait to see how it turns out!!!

Stacie said...

That looks AWESOME!! What a great transformation!

Jayson and Kassi Madson said...

this post was our inspiration and guide on our kitchen makeover! We just finished the countertop last weekend and love them! We still haven't used them, and I'm starting to worry hat they will scratch too easily now! They still don't seem 'cured'...like if I put my fingernail into it-it makes a dent! How long did she wait before she put her kitchen back together? What kind of polyarcylic did she use (i hope I used the right kind!)..help! Check it out on my blog post-and if you could help that'd be so great. Thank you!! http://jaysonandkassi.blogspot.com/2011/02/patience-is-virtue.html

Kelli said...

Kassi,

Your counters look amazing! I left a comment on your blog but in case someone else has the same question I thought I would answer you here. You used the same type of Polycrylic my mom used the only thing we can think of is maybe you put on thicker or more coats of it so it's taking longer to cure. I did some searching and found someone who said they put on too thick of coats and they said it would take 3-4 weeks to cure. Once they've cured then I wouldn't be worried about them scratching. My mom's have held up perfectly without any scratches and it's already been a few months since she did hers. Just make sure you don't put anything on the counter or you'll end up with a mark for sure. Hope this helps!

-Kelli

Millie said...

Wow, wow, wow! Fantastic job. It looks beautiful! I'm going to try it too.

Meghan said...

This is unbelievable!

Banaghaisge said...

That all looks fabulous!!! How is it holding up now that it is 9 months down the track?
Hugs from Jasmine in Oz

Kelli said...

Thanks everyone and Jasmine it is all holding up fabulous! Including the counters and everything!

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